While the advent of cloud technology ushered in a new era more than 20 years ago, special libraries and archives continue to turn to cloud solutions in their ongoing modernisation of how information is stored, managed, and accessed.
Special libraries and archives are today fully embracing Cloud-based solutions to expand their reach and capabilities to improve user engagement.
This next phase of cloud-based systems is not just a trend; it’s a strategic imperative that offers a myriad of benefits including cost efficiency, scalability, enhanced data security, and improved modern user accessibility. Here, we outline a roadmap for the coming year for those who are seeking ongoing transformation of their operations with latest cloud technology solutions.
The Cloud Advantage
One of the most compelling reasons to migrate to the cloud has always been and remains to be cost efficiency. Traditional on-premises systems require significant upfront capital for hardware, software licenses, and infrastructure. Cloud technology, on the other hand, typically operates on a subscription model, which continues to translate to lower initial costs and predictable ongoing expenses. Additionally, the responsibility for system maintenance, upgrades, and scalability lies with the service provider, which means fewer IT talent requirements and expenses for the library.
As libraries and archives grow and evolve, their systems must be able to keep pace. Today’s modern cloud-based solutions offer unparalleled scalability, allowing archives and libraries to increase storage and resources as needed. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for archives and libraries that experience fluctuating demands. Modern cloud systems can be easily adjusted for peak times ensuring that the library’s digital presence is always responsive to user needs.
Data security is a paramount concern for both special libraries and archives, which often house sensitive information and artifacts. Cloud providers invest heavily in the latest security measures, including robust encryption, and firewalls, offering a level of protection that would be prohibitively expensive for individual archives and libraries to implement on their own. Furthermore, the many cloud storage options now available on the market today provide a safeguard against data loss due to local disasters, as digital data is stored off-site and can be recovered quickly.
Cloud solutions enhance the archive and library experience for users by offering 24/7 access to digital resources from any internet connected location and device. This accessibility is vital in today’s fast-paced, mobile-first world. Archives and libraries can extend their reach beyond their physical walls, democratising access to information and levelling the playing field for users regardless of geography.
One of our Soutron Global clients summed up the modern Cloud Advantage like this:
“Thanks to the cloud-based software all IT pressures are removed and I have immediate access to brilliant and very helpful support when I need it. Questions are answered within the hour or in many cases instantly, compared to several days of waiting from our previous LMS supplier.”
Donald Mitchell, Librarian, Union School of Theology
Implementing Cloud Technology: A Strategic Approach
Ongoing Needs and Goals Assessment
The most effective transformation initiatives are those that approach it as a sustained effort over time, and thereby there needs to be ongoing assessment for needs and goals to best inform ever evolving transformation. This involves understanding the fluctuations in the archive or library’s user base, the types of resources offered and planned for the future, and the desired near and long-term outcomes. A thorough assessment process will support the selection of the right cloud provider and the design of the cloud architecture.
Choosing the Right Cloud Provider
Selecting the right innovative cloud provider is a critical decision among the many options now available.. Libraries and archives should look for technology solution providers with specific experience working with special libraries and archives, as they will be more attuned to the current industry trends and best practices, enabling them to best understand and deliver on the unique needs of your organisation. It’s important to evaluate the provider’s track record, security protocols, compliance standards, and support services.
Training Staff and Users
Training is essential to ensure that both staff and users can effectively navigate your ongoing transformation initiative. Staff should ensure your cloud provider has honed onboarding, training and support services aligned to your sustained modernisation plan, including user enablement. User education can take the form of workshops, online tutorials, and readily available support. And many solution providers offer scalable training solutions to align to your specific current state of transition readiness.
As part of the overall process, you should plan to continually evaluate the performance of your cloud-based systems. User feedback, system analytics, and performance metrics are readily available and prove invaluable for understanding the impact of your modernisation initiative, as well as for identifying areas for the next phase of improvement.
Looking to the Future
Cloud technology solutions marked a new chapter for archives and libraries. It is now commonplace for them to be dynamic, digital based platforms. Secure, cloud based solutions enable libraries and archives to be more responsive, more innovative, and more essential to their users.
Through ever-increasing use of modern cloud solutions, libraries and archives are not just scaling new heights in technology; they are reaffirming their commitment to being accessible knowledge centres, ready to meet current and future demands of their users.
For libraries looking to transition to a state of ongoing modernisation, the roadmap is clear. The key is working with the right technology partner who has developed and proven industry best practices.
Here at Soutron Global we focus exclusively on supporting special libraries and archives and have been doing so for more than 30 years. With our market-leading information management cloud solutions, we effectively ushered in the initial Cloud era, and today are working with organisations worldwide to help them evolve to an ongoing state of modernisation to not only take advantage of today’s most innovative cloud capabilities but also be best prepared to easily continue to evolve to the latest emerging library and archive solutions as they are introduced.
To learn more about how we support specialised libraries and archives around the world, book a meeting (in the link below) with one of our experts.